13 Family Board/Card Games For A Holiday Party

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and family games at holiday parties can be a blast! Here are 13 different board games and card games that you can play at your family gatherings! Have fun!

"The Truth" Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

13. Jenga

Jenga is all about strategy. First you must build your tower of blocks as shown in the instructions. Then each player takes one piece of the tower out at a time. The goal is to keep the tower standing. The person who finally makes it fall over is out. Rebuild the tower and keep going until only one person is left. They are the winner! This game is hilarious as people start to panic near the collapse of the tower! Good luck! You need a very gentle touch to win this game!

12. Pictionary

The main objective of this game is to reach the end of the game board. Each square is designated with a different subject (P=Person, Place or Animal, O=Object, A=Action, D=Difficult, AP=All Play). The team drawing then has a teammate pick a card and draw from the category they landed on. If it is an AP then a member from each team tries to guess the word. Whoever wins gets to continue on! You will laugh hysterically at some of the drawings in this one!

[caption id="attachment_5961" align="alignleft" width="300"] "Scrabble is very well known and the concept is simple. Whoever has the most points at the end wins."[/caption]

11. Scrabble

Scrabble is very well known and the concept is simple. Create words for the biggest points possible. Utilize the special spaces labeled “double letter, double word, triple letter, triple word” to get massive amounts of points. Use letters on your rack to make words on the game board. After your turn is over replace the amount of tiles you used. Then the next player goes. Proceed until all of the tiles are gone or no moves can be made. You have to build onto existing words in order to play. If you cannot do this you can swap out as many tiles as you want for new letters. Whoever has the most points at the end wins!

10. Balderdash

How convincing are you? That’s the name of the game in Balderdash. Whoever is rolling the die does so and then picks the corresponding word that matches it on the card they are holding. Then everyone writes down what they think is the correct definition, or one that sounds convincing. The person who rolled the die writes down the correct answer. After everyone has passed their answers to the card holder, the card holder reads them all out loud and everyone must decide which definition is the correct one. Get ready for some hilarious banter back and forth as you play this one!

9. Yahtzee

Yahtzee is the logical/strategical gamer’s nightmare. It’s all based on luck in this one. Without going into all of the details, the main point is to fill out your entire Yahtzee card. You do this by rolling 5 die onto a table and use combinations of the die to fill out your card. For example, “Three of a kind” is fulfilled by rolling all 5 die and having 3 of them have the same number. Rolling 3 “4’s” gets you a 3 of a kind. There are 13 sections total to fill out. If you don’t like games based on mostly luck, stay away from this one. If you love games about luck, then this game is a must!

8. Boggle

Boggle is for the critical thinkers. 16 cubes are shaken into a box. Once all 16 cubes rest in the 16 slots, turn over the timer and get thinking! The point of this is to make as many words possible before the timer runs out. This is done by using letters that are touching each other horizontally, vertically, and diagonally to make words from the letter chains. The longer the words are, the more points you receive. For the sanity of everyone playing, use a current dictionary!

7. Monopoly

What family hasn’t gone crazy playing this game?! The point of the game is to buy properties, but buy them strategically. Once you own all of the properties of a certain color you can then purchase houses and eventually upgrade to hotels. Anyone that lands on your property must pay you the fees as written on the property card. Many obstacles must be dodged if possible such as: paying utilities, water works, or going to jail. Beware for those money hungry siblings and parents! You got to fight to survive in this one!

6. Cranium

The basic concept of this game is to make it to the center of the board at Cranium Central. Along the way your team must answer questions from 4 different categories which involve different ideas. Briefly, the categories are Creative Cat, Data Head, Word Worm, and Star Performer. You will have to draw, use play dough, perform, spell words and many other things to get through this game, so get your “thinking cap” on and get to it!

5. Guesstures

Guesstures is charades with a kick! When it is your turn you take 4 cards to use. Each card has an easy word and a difficult word on it. The easier word is worth less points. Put the cards into the card slot and start the timer. Every time your team guesses correctly, pull that card out of the slot. If you take too long the card drops down and those points go to the other team. This game is a riot as cards are dropping and people are shouting every word imaginable just to get the right answer!

4. Mad Gab

This game is a riot as you listen to the reader say "Eye Mull of Musheen". What does that sound like? Of course the answer is “I’m a love machine!” So funny! This is the entire premise of the game. Your team gets 3 puzzles to try and solve in 2 minutes. The faster your team finishes, the more points you win. Good luck!

3. Taboo

Taboo is a game of wits, so you best be at your wits when you play! It is a very simple game. Each card has a word at the top of it that you want your team to guess. There are also 5 additional words on the card that are “taboo”. You cannot say these words to help your team guess the answer. In the event that you accidently say one of the words, a member from the opposing team who is watching you will ring the buzzer and you must move on to the next card. After the round is over you tally up how many points you earned (answers guessed correctly by your team) and then it’s the next team’s turn. Pick how many rounds you want to play at the beginning and then add the points up at the very end to find out who the winner is.

2. Scattergories

Scattergories has been loved by families for a long time. You start by everyone agreeing on which list to use. A list consists of 12 different categories from all different topics and themes. Then a 20 sided letter die is used to decide what the beginning of each word must start with. Then start the timer and think fast! The goal is to answer all 12 topics before the timer runs out. An example is if the letter rolled is “A” and the topic was “fruit”, you could put “apple” as an answer. Your answer can have more than one word to get more points too! An example of this is “Sharon Stone”. You will laugh at some of the desperate answers people sneak in for points!

1. Pit

Pit is an adventure into frenzy as players frantically try to trade their cards (1-4 at a time) in hopes of getting all of the same item in their hand. When a player finally has all of the same item they then yell “Corner!” They have gotten the corner on the market. That player wins points based on the commodity they have in their hand. The round is over and then play starts over again. The game is much more fun when you include the bull and the bear. The bear is always bad. At the end of a round, whoever has the bear automatically loses 20 points. The bull is good and can be used as a wild card for any commodity. If a player gets a corner on the market (9 cards of the same item) and they have the bull as a tenth card, they earn double the points. Fasten your seatbelts for this one! It is a wild ride for sure!

I hope you have enjoyed this list of 13 of my favorite holiday games! What are some of your favorites? Please let us know in the comments below! God bless!

Read a compatible F&E article at this link:  10 Great Games For A Family Reunion

Resources- ESV Holy Bible, Youtube, photo credit: John-Morgan via photopin cc

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